The Three Stripe Journey by Heather Luce

My name is Heather Luce and I am a proud alumna of the University of Louisville. Throughout my college career, I have held numerous positions and worked for some of the most talented people in sports. However, one opportunity completely changed the trajectory of my career: the adidas Student Brand Ambassador Program. As an adidas Student Brand Ambassador, I led a team of the most talented, dedicated, and innovative students at Louisville. Our mission was to #OwnTheCampus, and we did just that.


adidas brand ambassadors promote the brand on campus


During the past two years, our team has won the Best Social Media Team and the Best Overall Team back-to-back. Our tremendous success throughout the program simply would not have been possible without the Program Strategists at YMC. They are our coaches and our biggest motivation. During the first year of the program, my Strategist was Jose Colchao, who is now my mentor and great friend. Jose has always made time to coach me on interviews, provide feedback on my resume and cover letters, and give me career advice. I would not have experienced that level of success had it not been for Jose’s mentorship.

The adidas Student Brand Ambassador Program opened doors for me that I never could have imagined. My senior year, I earned a position as an adidas Marketing Assistant with the University of Louisville Athletic Department. I was able to do incredible things like travel to Portland to tour adidas village and meet the executives of adidas. In March, my dream came true when I was offered a position as an NBA Team Services Specialist with the adidas Sports Licensed Division.


college brand ambassadors hold the adidas flag


As I reflect on my college career and prepare for the future, I believe these are the three keys to success in sports.



We’ve all heard the saying, “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.” I believe that who you know gets you there and what you know gets you further. Shake as many hands as you can. Surround yourself with positive people who empower you. Remember names, send thank you notes, and make lasting first impressions. A recommendation letter from the right person can make all the difference in the world.



Millions of people want to work in sports. At the end of the day, the candidate with the best skills and experience is going to get the job. Internships are critical. Volunteer for everything you possibly can. Learn how to market yourself. Your resume and cover letters should make employers thrilled to meet you to learn more about how you can help their company.


Want it more than anyone. Work harder than everyone.

Your work ethic is one of the most important aspects of your personality. We see athletes all the time with all the potential in the world, but they lack the determination or work ethic to be the best. You have to outshine everyone else. Don’t just do what is expected of you. Go the extra mile. Exceed expectations and be the greatness that you want to achieve.


college brand ambassador wearing the adidas brand at graduation


Want to learn more about Heather and follow her journey? Follow her on Twitter or Instagram @UofL_Heather or email her at [email protected].


How Visa Sought to Capitalize on Heartbreak… and Lost

Visa ad after WorldCup loss was a marketing failure


Over the last few weeks, the world was captivated by one of the greatest events on the planet‒the World Cup Finals. An international tournament held only once every 4 years, the World Cup brings the world’s greatest soccer (football) teams together to compete for the title of World Champion. As with most international events, brands and marketers entered their own tournament, competing to best engage the game’s global audience. Among the hashtags and viral videos, Visa’s Twitter post at the end of Brazil’s devastating 1-7 loss to Germany stood out for all the wrong reasons.


Visa’s attempt at real-time marketing failed when they tried to capitalize on a Brazilian nightmare. The marketers behind that tweet seemed to lack an understanding of the passion and dedication around the World Cup and soccer in general, and subsequently lacked the empathy to be human at such a crucial moment.


The first mistake was a Marketing 101 failure‒fully understand your topic and audience. In this case, the essence of the sport. Soccer represents the competition, commitment, sacrifice, and work ethic that many sports share, but the major thing that sets it apart is the global nature of the sport. This is evidenced by the countless pick-up games that can be found in the farthest corners of the world. It’s one of the closest things we have to world parity, where small nations like Haiti and Tahiti can compete against giants like Spain and the US. The men and women that wear their country’s colors represent the pride and joy of entire nations. Respect and brotherhood are qualities universally shared among athletes and fans, and give this beautiful game its heart and soul. Visa failed to understand that. If they had, they would have known that a competitor does not pour salt on a fresh wound, but rather picks his brother up.


World Cup players comfort opponents after loss

Following Colombia’s devastating loss to Brazil in the quarter-final round of the tournament, Brazilian players David Luiz and Danny Alves console Colombian rival James Rodriguez.

Even worse than not understanding the game, the creators of this tweet used poor judgment by attempting to capitalize on a very human emotion‒heartache. You don’t need to understand soccer to recognize the grief written across the faces in the stands. The Selecao, the Brazilian national team name which is literally translated to mean “the selected”, represents one of Brazil’s most treasured gifts to the world. Like artists or scientists, these maestros embody the skills and spirit of an entire nation. To see these men being destroyed and broken down in their home country as the host nation is enough to make the strongest man cry.


Brazilian World Cup player David Luiz


David Luiz is unable to control his emotions during his post-game interview.  ‘I just wanted to make my people happy…..I’m so sorry to the Brazilian fans….I just wanted to see the Brazilian people smile.’




Was the world stunned at the end of the Germany vs. Brazil game? Absolutely. Was the look of devastation on that child’s face a powerful image? Of course. But was it enjoyable to see? No. It was painful! As marketers, we are entrusted to represent a brand in a positive light, and the best are able to do so in a meaningful way. Visa failed to project its brand positively, potentially alienating the very people it sought to engage.  The biggest failure was not truly understanding what that moment meant to the millions of Brazilian fans across the globe. We recommend taking a lesson from one of the German victors, who enjoyed his country’s victory with a touch of class.


tweet about Brazilian World Cup loss

German and Arsenal star, Mesut Ozil, sends an inspiring message to the Brazilian people.